ST. LOUIS – In response to a critical need to expand the region’s network of electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, Electrical Connection contractors are launching a turn-key service to fortify the region’s EV infrastructure. The initiative is designed to optimize Ameren Missouri Charge Ahead incentives to encourage businesses and civic entities to install charging stations. The Electrical Connection kicked off the initiative by donating an EV charging station, including installation, to the St. Charles County Economic Development Council (EDC). The Electrical Connection is a partnership of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 1 and the St. Louis Chapter of the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA).
“Our IBEW and NECA leadership saw this day coming more than 10 years ago and invested in ramping up EV charging station training while helping pioneer the standards needed to ensure reliable installations,” said Jim Curran, executive vice president, Electrical Connection.
According to the Edison Electric Institute, the United States now has more than 1.5 million electric vehicles. By 2030, that number is expected to grow to 18.7 million. The Bloomberg New Energy Finance’s Electric Vehicle Outlook 2020 reported that “by 2025, EVs hit 10% of global passenger vehicle sales, rising to 28% in 2030 and 58% in 2040.” Meanwhile, Car and Driver notes “Market research firm AutoPacific counts a remarkable 90 to 100 new electric nameplates coming to U.S. showrooms by 2030.”
Left to right is Scott Drachnik, president and CEO, St. Charles County Economic Development Council; Jim Curran, executive vice president, Electrical Connection; Kevin Bresnahan, project manager, RJP Electric; Scott Nesbitt, IBEW Local I; and Randy Bowers, operations manager, RJP Electric.
“Clearly, we are in a new era for the automobile industry and need to support the driving public’s growing demand for electric vehicles,” noted Scott Drachnik, president and CEO, St. Charles County EDC. “The Electrical Connection has been a great partner and an essential resource to fortify our EV infrastructure and address all disruptive technologies that shape our future.”
Electrical Connection contractors have been thoroughly briefed on Ameren incentives. It also partnered with Ameren Missouri in a St. Charles County EDC-hosted webinar on Nov. 16, 2020 to educate business and civic leadership on the incentives and installation requirements to expand EV infrastructure.
“Our contractors will facilitate the needed expansion of EV charging stations by being a one-stop-shop for incentive applications, site planning, engineering, acquiring and installing charging stations,” noted Doug Martin, executive vice president, St. Louis NECA. “We applaud Ameren for initiating the incentives to expand the network of EV charging stations.”
Ameren Missouri began offering its new incentives this year to business customers through the Charge Ahead program. They include up to a $5,000 rebate for Level 2 charging stations, which delivers 25 miles of distance for every hour charged. More robust DC fast chargers can charge an EV battery up to 80 percent capacity in 30 to 45 minutes and include up to $20,000 in rebates from Ameren. “We estimate both programs will allow businesses and civic organizations to save up to 50 percent on EV charging station installation costs,” noted Ameren Missouri Program Supervisor, Efficient Electrification, Sacoyya Davis. More information on the incentives can be found at www.ameren.com/missouri/business/electric-vehicles.
Meanwhile, the Electrical Connection donated a dual-port EV charging station and its installation to the St. Charles County EDC to help encourage more investment in expanding EV charging station networks. NECA contractor RJP Electric performed the installation with its IBEW workforce.
“We’ve been prioritizing reliable EV charging stations in our training for 10 years,” noted Frank Jacobs, business manager, IBEW Local 1. “Under the guidance of IBEW/NECA Electrical Industry Training Center Director Dennis Gralike, our staff helped pioneer the national Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Training Program (EVITP) which established standards for reliable installations by certified installers. What’s exciting to see is how our journey workers are expanding their knowledge in all aspects of electrical and communication technology.”
Dr. Linda Little, assistant director of the training center, helped develop the EVITP national curriculum and the reliability standards that include Article 625 of the National Electrical Code, which covers EV charging systems. More than 30 Electrical Connection-member electrical contractors have completed EVITP training, as have more than 400 IBEW Local One electricians.
Contractors fully experienced in renewable energy and EV charging stations can be found on the Electrical Connection’s database of electrical contractors.
The IBEW/NECA Electrical Connection partnership provides safe and reliable electrical construction, maintenance, repair and replacement services across Missouri, the nation and the world. Learn more at www.electricalconnection.org.